Contact: Greg Dart
Snow College Director of Communications
Phone: (435) 283-7154
February 26, 2009
EPHRAIM - Humanitarian Mary Jean Eisenhower will address Snow College on March 5 at 7 p.m. in the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts. The event is free and open to the public. Eisenhower, an internationally esteemed philanthropist and granddaughter of the late president Dwight D. Eisenhower, will speak about her efforts to promote international understanding. She will speak as part of the Tanner Lecture Series.
Eisenhower is CEO of People to People International, an organization founded by President Eisenhower in 1956. PTPI sponsors an international exchange program for both students and professionals to visit foreign countries and learn about new cultures. The ultimate goal, according to the organization’s Web site, is “to enhance international understanding and friendship through educational, cultural and humanitarian activities.”
Gary Parnell, a faculty member at Snow who organized her appearance, suggested that she will mainly help the community “open up their perspective for the need of international experiences.” The lecture, he said, will also “give them a historical connection to President Eisenhower,” as she experienced his presidency firsthand.
Little did the president know that his granddaughter would later be spearheading the same effort which he created.
Eisenhower grew up around her grandfather as she was born during his first presidential term - she was even christened in the White House. Her biographical sketch tells that she joined PTPI with hopes to “carry on her grandfather’s dream” of providing aid through the organization, which has now “become her life’s work.”
She created the International Friendship Fund (IFF) as a financial appendage to the organization in 1999. Through her efforts, the fund has administered relief through PTPI to hospitals, schools, libraries, disaster relief support and disease management all over the globe.
Eisenhower has been recognized in several different countries for her contributions, including honors in the United States. She became CEO of the PTPI in 2000, and now also serves as its president.
For more information regarding the organization prior to the lecture, visit ptpi.org.